The putschists' illegitimate referendum has been rigged, as we – and unbiased, fair-minded observers – expected. To start with, the coup commanders and collaborators trampled the people's will, expressed in five democratic and credible elections and referendums, at the cost of seven billion Egyptian Pounds (one billion US Dollars). Therefore, coup leaders could not hold a legal or fair referendum, because the result would be a rejection of the murderous military coup, in support of a legitimate civilian government that respects the people's will, sovereignty and dignity. Hence, they were compelled to fake the result of the referendum, desperate for a thin veneer of legitimacy to their traitorous regime. Nevertheless, this result will not give them any degree of legitimacy whatsoever.
They claimed that 38.6% of people eligible to vote cast their ballots in the poll. Meanwhile, they acknowledged that youth boycotted the vote. Youth represent 60% of those eligible to vote. Additionally, the vast majority of Islamists and other political forces boycotted the vote. So, obviously the putschists are far from being truthful with that 38.6% figure.
Moreover, the percentage of Egyptians voting abroad was 15%, according to official reports. This is invariably an indicator of total Egyptian electorate turnout. In the 2012 referendum, 42% of Egyptians abroad turned out to vote. The overall turnout percentage was 32.9%, clearly less than voting abroad.
Therefore, it cannot be that this time only 15% voted abroad and the total turnout was 38.6%, especially since the recent referendum was held in an atmosphere of terror, murder and arbitrary arrests of all those who reject the illegitimate new charter. This climate led to a widespread boycott, which resulted in thousands of deserted polling stations, as seen in many pictures and video clips.
In the 2012 referendum, there were no calls for boycotts, and most – if not all – of the parties and movements participated. However, total turnout rate was 32.9%. This time, boycott calls were everywhere throughout the Egyptian society, yet coup officials claim a 38.6% turnout!
In 2012, everyone at home and abroad affirmed that the referendum, with all its processes and procedures, was free, fair and most credible. This time, science and research centers in Egypt, and all the commentators and researchers abroad, affirmed the referendum was rigged.
The Arab Observatory of Rights and Freedoms stated that voter participation in the recent referendum did not exceed 11.3% (rather than 38.6% as claimed by the putschists). According to the Egyptian Center for Media Studies and Public Opinion, turnout was only 8%.
According to the Carnegie Endowment, this was not a referendum at all. The Guardian, the British newspaper, reported that it was a flawed constitutional referendum, and that the Egyptian government had monopoly control over the vote amid deadly violence against 'no' campaigners. According to Transparency International, the political context in the period prior to the poll reduced chances of holding a free and fair referendum. Many other local and international NGOs hold the same views.
We still remember how the coup leaders and their supporters publicize hugely exaggerated numbers. Recently, one of the leaders of the "Kammel Gemeilak" movement, which calls for the nomination of general Al-Sisi for the presidency, resigned. He said they collected 8,500 signatures only, while his ex-colleagues announced in the media 5.5 million signatures. Furthermore, some pro-military newspapers reported that 4000 Egyptians in Japan voted in favor of the constitution, while the number of Egyptians registered to vote there are only 423 people, and those who actually cast ballots were 34 people only.
Justice Nabil Salib, head of the committee supervising the referendum, proved his bias and lack of impartiality, as he publicly announced that "exams prevented youths from voting, otherwise turnout would have been higher". The fact the judge and his ilk must know very well is that youths were not busy with examinations, but with demonstrating against the coup and the illegitimate referendum of fraud and falsehood.
In fact, youth were receiving live bullets in the chest and birdshot in the face, as they choked on poisonous gas fired by coup security forces. Some of them were killed, many were injured, and many more were taken hostage in the junta's jails and detention centers. Youths have been demonstrating in streets and squares in all governorates of Egypt, for more than two hundred days now. They will persist in peaceful protest until they wrest their rights and freedoms from the fascist putschists and their supporters.
To the great Egyptian people...
The putschists wanted to quell and humiliate you. They killed and burned, arrested and tortured you and your loved ones. They passed the anti-protest law to stop your non-violent demonstrations. They declared the Muslim Brotherhood, despite its peacefulness, a terrorist group. They made the death penalty punishment for leading a demonstration, and five years in prison punishment for participation in one. But you did not at all cower or waver. Instead, you trampled all that in your daily demonstrations. The illegitimate constitution will not fare any better than what you rejected before. Stability will be achieved only through justice, freedom and dignity.
Indeed… "God has full control of all affairs, but most people do not know."
The Muslim Brotherhood
Cairo: January 19, 2014